Plankton Ecology
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris
© HCMR / Yiannis Issaris

Plankton Ecology Lab

This Lab supports the integrated study of the structure and function of the planktonic food web (e.g. viruses, bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton) in transitional, coastal, and offshore marine environments. It has facilities in Athens and Crete, and its research activities focus on field and laboratory studies, with experiments in microcosms, mesocosms and microalgae cultures. More specifically:

  • Temporal and spatial studies of plankton communities, and taxonomic analysis for the study of biodiversity.
  • Distribution and productivity of plankton communities, interactions among functional groups and trophic levels carbon flow in marine food webs and assessment of the role in biogeochemical cycles,
  • Impacts of anthropogenic pressures, climate change, eutrophication, pollution and marine litter on plankton communities and food webs.
  • Formation and impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in coastal waters, interactions with other marine organisms and toxin transfer in marine food webs.
  • Use of plankton indicators for the status assessment of the marine environment according to Greek legislation and European Directives (e.g. the Water Framework Directive 2000/60, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56, and the Barcelona Convention UNEP / MAP & UNEP / EcAp).
  • Bio-optical methods and remote sensing towards the operational assessment of the ecological status, food status, and productivity of large scale areas in the pelagic environment.
  • Microalgae cultures exploitation in ecosystem functioning studies, metabolites production and bioremediation for biotechnological applications.
  • Ship ballast water monitoring in accordance with the Global Ballast Management Convention for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Marine Ecosystems, introduction and impact of alien planktonic species on ecosystem functioning.


Field Equipment

Zooplankton sampling nets WP2 (HYDROBIOS mesh size 200 μm και 45 μm) and WP3( HYDROBIOS mesh size 300 μm)

MOCNESS (Multiple Opening and Closing Net, with an Environmental Sensing System)

Sampling nets for phytoplankton crawling: Collection phytoplankton

Lab equipment

Liquid Scintillation Counters with integrated radioactive calibration source Cs-137 with activity 1,1MBq and two external calibration sourc es Η-3 and C-14 with activity ~10kBq. Measurement of radioactivity

Radio-isotope Labs (14C, 3H): Fully equipped (and licensed) facility to run experiments with radio-isotopes

Flow cytometer and accessories (liquid N2 dewars) for counting of small size organisms in the sea water.

Microscopes: OLYMPUS PROVIS Epifluorescence microscopes with image analysis system, OLYMPUS IX70 inverted epifluorescence microscopes (connected to an image analysis system) and OLYMPUS CK20 small portable microscope: Microplankton and microbial organisms enumeration and identification

Stereoscopes: OLYMPUS stereoscopes with image analysis system SZX-11 and SZX-9, NIKON stereoscopes: Zooplankton (bigger) organisms enumeration and identification.

Fluorometers TURNER 00-AU-10 and TD-700 Laboratory Fluorometer to quantify chlorophyll concentrations

Laminar Flow to work with bacteria cultures

Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers for keeping in very low temperature (-80oC) delicate samples

Liquid N2 (liquid nitrogen) dewars AIR LIQUIDE GT 40, AIR LIQUIDE voyageur 20lt: Keeping in very low temperature (-80oC) samples

Autoclaves SELECTA UNIVEDA: For sterile conditions

Centrifuges: Εppendorf 5810-21000g, Heraus cooled Centrifuge for eppendorfs-21000g and Dunac II Clay Adams to concentrate water samples.

Incubators GALLEKAMP, ISCO FTD 250: Keep plankton cultures at adequate conditions of temperature and light.

Incubators MΕΜΜΕRT_400 (250oC): Drying, heating, ageing, burn-in and hardening

Portable thermoelectric refrigerators (cooling-heating) Keep plankton cultures at adequate conditions of temperature

Plankton wheel: Steady and slowly rotating platform for cultures of zooplankton and their prey

Water deionization resin column, for deionization (ion exchange) of water for deionization (ion exchange) of tap water through a column packed with resin

Fully integrated water purification system with filters and UV light lamps.

Various Filtering devices and pumps for filtration of sea water under various pressures PALL GELMANN; Μillipore, and Peristaltic Pump Millipore of 47, 90 and 142 mm.

Laboratory washer for glass and other material washing

Ice maker machine Biomedical Division: Produce ice from water to keep samples and reagents cold during experiments or other lab work

Ultrasonic device, Sonicator BIOBLOCK Scientific Vibra Cell 72405

Stirrer plate cultures HEIDOLPH model Unimax 2010: Optimal suspension of cell cultures

Vortex HEIDOLPH: Mixing small vials of liquid

Heated plate Magnetic stirrer hot STUART: Used to heat glassware or its contents with a magnetic stirrer, allowing the heated liquid to be stirred automatically.

Heated baths 0-100oC SELECTA : Incubation of samples in water at a constant temperature over a long period of time  

Experimental rooms

Constant temperature room: Equipment for micro algal isolation and growth of monocultures / Collection microalgal cultures to support experiments at constant temperature conditions.

Constant temperature room fully equipped for ocean acidification experiments

Constant temperature room with Plankton wheel